The Biggest Legislative Wins So Far in 2024

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posted on June 19, 2024
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While most gun owners are aware of the incredible work the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) does in Congress protecting gun owners from damaging legislation and in courtrooms around the country fighting anti-Second Amendment laws, the ILA also does yeoman’s work in the states. And that hard work has paid off with some major victories so far this year.                                                                                      

Constitutional Carry

One excellent example is the work done helping states pass constitutional, or “permitless,” carry laws, making it legal for gun owners to practice their Second Amendment-protected rights without having to receive government permission or to pay a fee to enjoy their freedom. During this spring’s legislative sessions, two additional states, Louisiana and South Carolina, passed such laws with the help of NRA state directors, staff, and grassroots volunteers. That brings the total number of states where a permit is no longer required to legally carry a concealed firearm to 29!

Protecting Personal Information

Another major victory is passage of laws that protect the personal information of those purchasing firearms. Last year, the International Organization for Standardization adopted a special Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun purchases. MCCs are used by payment processors (like Visa and Mastercard) and other financial services companies to categorize transactions. 

Prior to the creation of the specific code for guns, firearms retailers fell under the MCC for sporting goods stores or miscellaneous retail. If the new code is used, credit card companies and other payment processors can tell the purchases were firearms, basically creating a de-facto registry of firearms and firearm owners.

When the new MCC was announced, NRA-ILA quickly went to work at the state level, with NRA state staff working with lawmakers to outlaw the use of such codes. This year, eight states—Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming—passed this legislation to protect gun owners’ privacy, and the New Hampshire legislature recently passed such a bill and sent it to Gov. Chris Sununu for his consideration.

Gun Industry Discrimination

A third example came in addressing states or state agencies that discriminate against certain industries, including those that engage in or support the manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of firearms, when granting government contracts. NRA has backed, and lobbied for, Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) legislation on the state level as the solution to the problem.

Consequently, two states—Idaho and Louisiana—passed FIND legislation so far this year. These laws will prevent “woke” corporate banks in those states with discriminatory policies against firearm industry members from collecting taxpayer dollars through state contracts. While Idaho’s bill was not focused on just the firearm industry, its language encompasses what would be considered FIND legislation.

While these are examples of positive legislation being pushed over the finish line by NRA-ILA state directors, these hard-working men and women also have been successful in killing state measures that would be detrimental to gun owners in several states; in fact, in the gun control hotbed of Illinois, a number of anti-Second Amendment bills were introduced this session and not a single one passed!

Semi-Automatic Firearms Bans

Fighting so-called “assault weapon” bans has become nearly a full-time job for NRA representatives in many states. This legislative session has already seen some big victories concerning these freedom-infringing proposals.

In Maine, a measure that would have created a backdoor ban on commonly owned firearms and firearm parts by redefining a “machine gun” to include any semi-automatic firearm that includes parts that can “increase the rate of fire” was defeated thanks to diligent effort by NRA and Second Amendment allies in the Pine Tree State.

In Colorado, a measure that would have banned countless semi-automatic rifles, including America’s most common rifle—the AR-15—along with many other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Coloradans use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense, also died a much-needed death. 

Minnesota and New Mexico also saw semi-auto bans defeated.

Red-Flag Laws

At the encouragement of President Joe Biden (D) and his new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, states continue to push so-called “red-flag” laws that would allow the government to confiscate a person’s firearms without due process; in fact, many would allow guns to be confiscated without the subject of the order even knowing about the order, leaving the gun owner to go to court later to explain why his or her rights should not have been denied.

This session, with the help of NRA directors on the ground and grassroots NRA members, such laws were defeated in Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.,  In Virginia, that state’s governor vetoed a bill expanding the existing “red-flag” law. Such a measure is still under consideration in Delaware at this time.

Of course, these are just a few highlights, and there were many other anti-gun measures killed, including a New Mexico bill that would have paved the way for frivolous lawsuits against the firearms industry. Likewise, there were many other pro-gun measures signed into law, including greatly strengthened firearms preemption laws in both Iowa and Louisiana.

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